Dream Big & Buy The Shoes

February 20, 2017

To The Next 500....

Today marks 500 posts I've published in this little space of mine. My first post was so random and while I was a little nervous if people would be interested in what I had to say but I also was just doing this to have a little fun. I must admit, some days it's tough keeping up with it all when it comes to blogging. I have dreams of growing my blog, reaching more people, inspiring young women, etc etc....and then a day just happens. A long work day, laundry, dishes that need put away, homework that needs checked, hair that needs straightened...but seriously.

I can't believe it's been almost 3 years because sometimes it feels like just yesterday I had this crazy idea of starting a blog. I've met a few bloggers in person, had the privilege of working with several more and get to connect with so many people I never would have if it weren't for dreaming big and just going for it. There's some people who still don't get blogging...why I do it, what it is, why I would spend all this time doing something on the side that doesn't always pay me, but that's okay. I do this because I love it, because it feels good to get my feelings out, to share some books and beauty products or why I love Britney Spears so damn much. If I make you smile, then I've done my job.

So to those who show up here...Thank you for reading, thank you for listening, thank you for being there, thank you for your support...your uplifting words, kind comments and good advice. Whether you've been reading for one week or one year....I truly appreciate you taking the time to make me and my blog part of your day.

Remember to do something for YOU...you deserve to make yourself happy and you are in control of that joy. Dream big...and always buy the shoes.

To the next 500 friends...Xo-

February 17, 2017

Charlie Chat: Long Time No Chat

Wow...it's been a while since the last time we sat down to talk to my husband. I have a feeling he's been missing this...it could be the random comments from his friends like "I really like when Chuck is on the blog, those are the best days" or when I ask Chuck what I should write about he says "Well you haven't done a Charlie Chat in a while, and people want Charlie." Either way...here we are.

In case you forgot...here's how this works: 
Let's get started. But before we begin here's the rundown.
My questions are in bold italics, Charlie's answers follow and my commentary, if any, is after the *asterisk.

Charlie...it's been a while since we have heard from you.What's new?
 Hey! It's good to be back in <checks note card> the internet! Since we last spoke, I successfully avoided an assassination attempt, turned 36 and bought some obnoxious speakers while I distracted you with a weekend getaway to Lil' Havana.

*How does he already know the next question? Ugh...Charlieeeee!

People tell me that you're a really awesome husband. Case and point- you sent your wife away to Florida for the weekend, no strings attached. Some people were left wondering...why? What's in it for you? 
Funny you should ask, see above. I swear I didn't get an advance copy of these questions. TBH, I know it's been rough on you Angels being apart and since I've been dealing with some separation anxiety of my own, I wanted to save you from it...So I dreamt big and bought the speakers.

*To bring everyone up to speed...the Angels are our girlfriends in Florida- because there's 3 of us ladies...and our Charlie. Legit...this man bought some big ass unnecessary speakers. I walked in to the garage the next morning after I returned home from Florida to see a giant box and yelled "Charlieeeee what the hell are these?!" To which he replied, "Speakers." Men....

What's some advice you have for the couples out there when it comes to being a good partner? Honest communication is the key. And a sense of humor. I've come to find that secrets don't make friends, hard conversations up front beat the hell out of hard explanations after the fact and you can't take yourselves too seriously. Spoiler alert, we all die at the end of this crazy trip so have fun. (Charlie 2.0 is deep, yo!)

St. Patrick's Day is coming...your favorite holiday. Kidding. We all know from that one Charlie Chat that it's Thanksgiving. But in the spirit of beer, what's your favorite kind?
 I'm a Bud Heavy kind of guy. I know that's not the cool thing and I should say some IPA from a local with 12.4% APV but I'm still on the hunt for a beer that tastes like the ones that come out of the faucets at the Budweiser brewery in St Louis.

*He still tells me the story of visiting the Budweiser Brewery...I don't get it, I'm a fan of vodka and tequila...not beer.

It's been snowing a lot in Erie. Do you like the snow? How do you feel about living in one of the top ten snowiest cities? 
Short answer is that I hate it. Longer version is that I really just hate the cold, not really the snow. If it's cold out, there might as well be snow. I used to really like to snowboard and drink hot cocoa and check out the snow bunnies but that was a lifetime ago, so now I can do without. If some of these Southern states would stop passing and upholding laws from the 1950's, we'd be on the first thing moving.

*I honestly just wanted to hear his rant about how much he dislikes the cold. Is that evil? HA!

Valentine's Day has passed, but we can still talk about it. What did you get your wife for Valentine's Day? Where did you get the idea? 
Wait...what? When was Valentine's Day? I'm kidding, obviously. What kind of blogger husband would I be if I didn't order you Georgetown Cupcakes in early January to be delivered on Tuesday? Fun fact: TV cupcakes cost more than a gallon of gas!

*I squealed with joy when they arrived and couldn't wait to get home from work. They're just so pretty...and delicious.
A post shared by emelia🖤 (@emeliaanne_) on

Anything else you want to share Charlie?
 I'd like to address your readers directly now, if I could...I really enjoyed Boston and meeting you, Biana. You had some great tips and you really made the city come alive. I also really appreciate all of the support we received from the blogosphere when we got back. Knowing that you were all reaching out to Emelia and helping her deal means the world to both of us and I am forever in your debt. We should do this again soon. Be sure to like my status, comment below and subscribe for more awesome Charlie Chats. (That's Ethan's YouTube plug. I totes stole it. But seriously, let's do lunch soon.)
*But for real...thank you for all your support...always and especially in the difficult times. It's so nice to know so many people care for not only me, but my family as well. And in case you want to smile today...go ahead and watch this adorable video Ethan made 5 years ago on his own. His little voice, his cough and hilarious facial expressions kill me every time I watch it.

I hope you all have a wonderful fun and warm weekend...I'm ready for sunshine!

February 15, 2017

You Are A Survivor

I read an article a few weeks ago that I came across on Facebook. Sometimes Facebook really makes me laugh...I'll be scrolling down my page and see everything from a baby announcement to a Buzzfeed quiz to determine which Saved By The Bell character you are most like all the way to a really awesome piece of news, all within 5 minutes.
This particular article was discussed how more Mom's need praise. Yes, they totally do. But I got to thinking....don't we all need a little more praise? Believe me, I get it. Mom's do a heck of a lot...I could never ever be a single Mom- so they do even more. What about the other people? There's more than just Mom's out there that deserve a little pat on the back. To me, a survivor is anyone who comes out the other end with their head held high. You do a lot and deserve to be commended too.

To the single Mom making it out the door in one piece only five minutes late this morning, even with a spill of coffee down your shirt ...You Are A Survivor.

To the college graduate hustling at your boring 9-5 and coming home to apply for the career you truly want and not falling asleep until it's all done at 3 A.M. ...You Are A Survivor.

To the man packing lunches in the morning so your wife can sleep in, working hard all day and checking Math homework at night while dealing with technical issues your wife can't handle...You Are A Survivor.

To the girlfriend keeping up with laundry, meal planning, and everything in between...while still making your winged eyeliner look good...You Are A Survivor.

Look in the mirror...You. Are. A. Survivor.  Yes you...every single one of you making it through the day.

Give yourself some credit and a pat on the back...you rock.

Happy Wednesday friends!!

February 13, 2017

101 in 1001: Update Five

Another few months has passed and it's time for another update of My 101 in 1001 List. If you haven't seen these floating around the Internet, you can catch up here. I will warn you, this update does not compare in the fun of the last one in September...but I'm making progress and that counts.

Make homemade pasta- I was so excited when my Maid of Honor gifted us a pasta machine at my bridal shower....and we didn't bust it out until November of the following year after the wedding. I always thought it was so hard to make when I would help my Grandfather on Christmas morning in the kitchen, but it turns out it's not so bad. It's actually fun and Chuck and I are really enjoying making it together.

Stay off electronics at least 20 minutes before bed- This took a while to get crossed off, longer than it should have. It's bad to be on your phone with all the lights off staring at that bright screen. Instead I fall asleep to the TV or read one or two chapters in the latest book I happen to be reading, it's a great alternative. 

Attend a light up night around the holidays- I wish I had some better pictures of this, but I think the story alone will put enough visual in your head. Light Up Night in Pittsburgh is always a huge deal and this year it was so warm out that we decided to make the trip down after work. I'm an awful driver at night...can't see and freak out. At this point Chuck was not driving yet after his medical setback in the hospital. So here I am driving us, starving and almost hit a deer driving down the interstate. I don't know how I saw it, but luckily I did and avoided it. We get to about 20 minutes outside the city and get stopped. Traffic is NOT moving and apparently there was a pretty bad accident. Fast forward about 40 minutes and we are moving...we get in to the city and make it downtown and the traffic again, is NOT moving. I have road rage...to the extreme degree. Ethan keeps asking what's going on, I'm still starving, I'm tired and have to pee and we are sitting in traffic. Everyone is being crazy of course, cutting in front of one another...laying on the car horn...it was insanity. So then, we finally come to a road where we could have turned to find parking and the fireworks start going off. So here we are, sitting in the car watching fireworks and the traffic finally starts crawling. I turn at the light the other direction to head home and basically said "we're not doing this." So we are getting back on the highway overlooking the river and PNC Park watching these beautiful fireworks...I couldn't help but laugh, but not until we were back in Erie. So, we basically "attended" light up night, but next time we will arrive in the city MUCH earlier to truly enjoy it.
Update picture frames with new memories- I finally printed a few more wedding pictures and took down our family one from our Disney Cruise. I don't have a ton of frames around the house...just some of Ethan from school and soccer and our nieces and nephew yearly school pictures. We have a few of us swimming with the dolphins in the Bahamas up too, but I really don't want to take those down because they're so fun.

Make 5 new crafts- When the new Starbucks red cups came out this year I knew I wanted to make a new garland for my Coffee Christmas Tree since they were so fun and there were many different designs. So many of my co-workers and our salon and spa clients assisted me and gave me their cups after they drank their coffee, it was great. I love how it turned out and I knocked another thing off my 101 in 1001 list.
Make personalized Christmas gifts- I really wanted to make at least one personalized gift for everyone on my list, but it didn't work out. I came close though. For my nieces and nephew I made tic tac toe on the go. I made my grandparents a cute chalkboard that they seem to be enjoying. I gifted my Uncle one of my home trays. I made something new and tried my hand at a snowglobe for my Mother In Law. They all turned out pretty well, I hope I can do even more next year.

That's about it for this round...pretty so-so around these parts. I'm excited for the weather to get warm again so I can feel more motivated, for some reason that always helps me.
Here's where I'm at with My 101 in 1001 List--

Do a blog photoshoot
Introduce a sponsorship program  *January 2016
Grow my blog to be able to work with larger partners such as BlogHer, Social Fabric & more- *October 2016
Update pages (About Me, Best Of, Sponsor) *March 2016 Check them out here: About MeBest OfSponsor 
Meet another blogging friend in real life *September 2016- Biana from B Loved Boston
Update blog files on my laptop *February 2016
Ask to be a guest poster on a blog *April 2016- Alanna & Company
Make a vlog
Invest in business cards
Get published in a magazine *December 2015- Holl and Lane
Get published in an online outlet *December 2015- Holl and Lane 
Start a blog series  *January 2016- Dreamy Instagram Inspo
Start a monthly service created around a blog niche
Find a blogger in my city to connect with
Collaborate with another blogger on a project *January 2016-Beauty On A Budget with Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick & Stilettos
Take more photos for fashion & beauty posts
Update old posts February 2016 I updated: Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers & Bacon Wrapped Smokies. I updated SEO on another 10-15 posts in May 2016 also. 

Create a recipe book of old family recipes
Make homemade pasta *December 2016
Take a cooking class
Host a dinner party
Create my signature cocktail
Try at least 3 new foods (1/3) 1-avocado 
Bake a new cupcake flavor from scratch  *Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Visit 3 new restaurants and write about them (2/3) 1- September 2016, Mario's Italian Restaurant- Lexington, MA & Cheers- Boston, MA
Invent a new recipe  *December 2015 Chocolate Mint Christmas Dream
Learn how to grill
Eat from a food truck-  *July 2016
Make 100% homemade Thanksgiving dinner

Health & Fitness
Eliminate pop from my diet completely
Try a green smoothie 
Take a barre class
Find a fitness routine that works for me & STICK TO IT
Buy a bike *August 2016
Stay off electronics at night at least 20 minutes before bed
Give myself 30 minutes of relaxation a day with no phone or computer
Eat at least 1 fruit & 1 vegetable per day for 21 days straight (make it a HABIT)
Go social media free for a weekend

Visit Napa & explore Wine Country
Have an all girls weekend trip
Travel to a brand new city- *September 2016, Boston & Lexington, MA
Take Ethan to NYC
Go on a Segway tour
Ride in a hot air balloon
Take a one year anniversary trip- *September 2016- Boston
Go skydiving & hope my husband doesn't faint watching me
See Britney Spears in Vegas, again
See Janet Jackson in concert
Frame a large map & track our adventures
Surprise Chuck & Ethan with a trip
Go zip lining
Fly a kite 
Take a drive with no destination planned *August 2016
Go on another cruise (hopefully to the Caribbean)
Go to a Steelers home opener game
Attend a light up night event around the holidays *December 2016
Find a butterfly garden and visit one *August 2016

Professional Growth & Development
Write a children's book
Take on at least 1 "client" and plan an event 
Take a photography class *November 2016
Finish a webinar, whether for my blog or personal growth
Earn a promotion & raise *November 2015, February 2016
Design something for someone- a poster, invite, etc. *April 2016
Make 5 new crafts  (4/5) * 1- Valentine's Garland- February 2016 *2- Patterned Dream Board - March 2016 *3- Foolproof DIY Baby Gift- July 2016 *4- French Fries Halloween costume- October 2016 *5- Christmas Coffee Tree Garland- December 2016
Market my talents and pursue a side business *February 2016-Etsy shop
Start a poem journal

      Just for Emelia
Have another spend freeze for at least one month
Pay off all loans, except for my student loans (that's impossible for the next several years-ha!)
Read for 30 minutes every day *July 2016
Get my wedding dress preserved
Spend the afternoon at the library without worrying about time
Get a new tattoo
Create a special memorial event just for me to honor my mom
Spend the morning at a coffee shop
Get Britney Spears to tweet me back
Find my signature lip color
Get rid of the clothes I will never wear again *January 2016
Get a custom sketch drawn by Brittany Fuson

Make my own coffee table
Organize addresses *January 2016- I used Postable and it's awesome
Make or purchase a new headboard for our bed
Have Christmas shopping done before October 1st
Sell old wedding décor
Host a themed party
Turn some of Ethan’s old t-shirts I have saved in to a quilt
Host a craft party
Make over a piece of furniture
Update pictures frames with new memories *February 2017
Buy our first home
Get a picture of our own photography on a canvas for décor- *September 2016
Find the perfect entertainment stand- *October 2016

For Others
Leave a 100% tip- *September 2016- Mario's Italian Restaurant
Pay it forward & do a random act of kindness for a stranger *December 2015- Starbucks drive thru
Adopt a family for Thanksgiving
Volunteer somewhere with both Chuck & Ethan
Adopt a family for Christmas
Make an Easter basket for a child in need
Make personalized Christmas gifts *December 2017
Clean out closets and donate it all to someone I personally know who needs it *April 2016
Take Ethan to the Lego store & let him spend as much time as he wants in there
Take Ethan somewhere animal related for a behind the scenes look (zoo, park, etc)

Until next update....thanks for following along!